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Roof Collapse and Snow Removal

Take measures to protect your home

Know the risks of roof collapse

We count on our roof to keep us and nearly everything we own safe and protected from harsh winter weather. Heavy snow can pose a serious risk to your roof and could cause it to collapse. Homes that are most susceptible are those with roofs that are flat, low pitched or simply in poor condition. It’s important to know what to do to keep the roof on your homes, garages and sheds in good shape before winter weather arrives.

Preparing your roof for winter weather

Before temperatures drop and the snow arrives, take time to examine your roof and address any potential concerns. Below is a list of tips to protect your roof from heavy snow this winter.

Examine your roof from ground-level

Look at your room from all sides and identify signs of damage or aging. Looking for any missing, curled or lifted shingles, or roof sagging. If you notice any of these warning signs, hire a roofing expert to make any needed repairs. 

Hire a roofing expert

If you spot any concerns, hire a roofing professional to evaluate the situation and complete any necessary repairs. Addressing small issues prior to the first snowfall will prevent further damage and increase the life expectancy of your roof.

Check your gutters and downspouts

Make sure your gutters and downspouts are firmly attached to your home and are clear of leaves and other debris. Clogged gutters that don’t allow for water runoff are perfect places for ice dams to form. These can damage your roof and cause water to back up into your home. Once an ice dam occurs, the roof supports can weaken and cause roof collapse.

Make sure your attic is properly insulated

Properly insulating your attic reduces your risk of a roof collapse. It allows the snow and ice accumulation on your roof to melt gradually as temperatures warm up. Without adequate attic insulation, heat will rise throughout the house and warm the roof. This results in causing the snow to melt too quickly, resulting in heavy ice layers when the water refreezes. 

Be on guard after a snow storm

After the season’s first snow has arrived, knowing what roofing issues to look for and taking immediate action can save you a lot of money and aggravation. Here are some advice for maintaining your roofs during the winter months.

Invest in a snow rake

If you live in a one-story home, a roof rake can be used to safely remove snow and/or ice from your roof while standing on the ground. When using a snow rake, don’t try to clean off the entire roof. Instead, attempt to remove the looser snow towards the bottom edge of the roof while avoiding gutters and downspouts. While raking, don’t aim to get rid of all the snow. The key is to stop raking when you’re within 2-3 inches from the roof surface to avoid damaging the shingles.

Not all snow is the same

To determine if your roof is at risk for collapsing  following a storm, it’s important to know the different types of snow and understand how much your roof can support. Light and fluffy snow shouldn’t pose much of a threat, but heavy, wet snow or snow mixed with ice or sleet may warrant your attention. The heavier the snow (or ice), the more weight and impact it’ll have on your roof. 

Don’t hesitate to contact a professional

While snow removal services may be costly, consider hiring a professional to clear your roof once the snow has begun to accumulate. As a general rule, have your roof raked after every six inches of snowfall to ensure it never accumulates more snow than it can bear. Hiring a professional is safer and more efficient than clearing your roof yourself.  You should also contact a professional to repair any damage caused by a snow storm.